Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, professor of occupational therapy and the Russell Shearn Moody Distinguished Chair in the School of Health Professions, has received a prestigious national award for his contributions to occupational therapy.

Ottenbacher is the recipient of the 2013 American Occupational Therapy Association and American Occupational Therapy Foundation joint President’s Commendation Award in honor of Wilma L. West.

The governing boards of both the AOTA and AOTF established the award, presented rarely, to honor a respected leader of the profession. Ottenbacher also serves as director of the division of rehabilitation sciences in the School of Health Professions and the Sealy Center on Aging

His research has been continuously supported by federal funding since 1986 and, under his leadership, the rehabilitation sciences Ph.D. curriculum is ranked eighth among 375 kinesiology, exercise science and rehabilitation programs in the United States.

 Lefeber Winter Series on Aging

The UTMB Sealy Center on Aging hosts the Lefeber series of lectures, presenting experts from around the country on a variety of topics each Tuesday evening, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Levin Hall South auditorium and reception in the foyer following, for six consecutive weeks.

The series kicks off tonight with “Fatigue and fatigability in older adults: An indicator of accelerated aging?” presented by Dr. Kirsten Avlund, professor of health sciences at the University of Copenhagen.

Next week series is “Successful corporate and foundation fundraising for research programs.”

Seeing red

Friday is Go Red For Women Day, an initiative to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease in women and launch February as American Heart Month. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women.

Currently, some 8 million women in the United States are living with heart disease, yet only one in five American women believes heart disease is her greatest health threat. Wear red for support on Friday, and for healthy heart tips go to

 Science academy

The UTMB Office of Educational Outreach/Science Education is offering the Saturday Biomedical Science Academy to Galveston County mainland students in grades four to six.

The program offers hands-on activities designed to develop awareness for the “world of science” and show how creative, fun and applicable science can be.

The program is open to all students, including those who are home-schooled and those who attend private schools.

The free program, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will be from 9 a.m. to noon on March 23, April 6 and April 20.

Applicants must commit to attending all three sessions. The application deadline is Feb. 15.

To apply, go to and click on “Student Programs.” For more information, contact Alicia C. Simmons at or 409-772-9119.

 City recognizes Center for Addiction Research

UTMB’s Center for Addiction Research was honored by the Galveston City Council for its support of National Drug Facts Week.

This initiative, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, encourages teens to ask questions about drugs and their abuse in a safe and scientific environment.

The Center has partnered with the Galveston County Community Coalition to support activities surrounding the initiative in Galveston schools for the past three years.

Inside UTMB is compiled by the Public Affairs department at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

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